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Member since: Sat May 8, 2021, 09:44 PM
Number of posts: 72

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Star Trek alert - Perhaps we got this wrong - May be it's not Q-anon instead it's Q (a-non)?

Star Trek alert - For the trekies out there I've been wondering if Qanon is really just Q (as in Q continuum). Q has the power to travel through time and he has made it clear that his personal mission is to simply to mess with our heads Well mission accomplished - some people's heads have been thoroughly messed with!

Going down that same road, perhaps instead of being Q-anon. The "anon" part is really a gender declaration thing. As in (a-non) I envisage a lot of the right wingers being pretty upset is they realized the "a-non" part did not mean anonymous, but instead meant that Q is of a non-binary gender - Excuse me for having one of my Star-Trek moments The Hippo
Posted by Hippo_The_Pointer | Sun May 30, 2021, 10:54 PM (6 replies)

The BITE Model of cult mind control

Over the past few weeks I've been trying to learn more about how cults form, what keeps people locked in and how to help someone out of a cult. I still have much to learn, but I thought I'd share the following model with the community in DU. It outlines how cult leaders maintain their grip on people.


There are some familiar sounding elements listed in the BITE model. Between the GQP, Fox news, right-wing AM radio and the evangelical church you can see how the elements come together and keep people locked in.

Just passing along so that others who are perhaps trying to help a friend, family member or colleague break free from the every increasing craziness of the GQP might find some of the materials on the website useful. I think understanding the mechanisms of a cult is a good background information to have when dealing with GQP cultists. Hope some of you find it useful.

The Hippo
Posted by Hippo_The_Pointer | Fri May 28, 2021, 10:30 PM (4 replies)

Bannon and the 'Spears of Fear'

In an effort to understand the mechanisms through which the 'tRump base is maintained I've just spent an hour watching Bannon's war-room show. In watching it is interesting to see how he (and his guests) use rhetorical devises to keep the listeners engaged.

One of those devices is what I call "jabbing with the spears of fear”. It's a technique in which you make brief mention of something that you know your target audience fears. The fear can be the focus of discussion, or it can just be brief interjections into the discussion about a different topic (Arizona's audit was this morning's focus). In today's show Bannon was using the spears as quick jabs rather than the focus of discussion. He or the others on the show used the device at least 15 times in the hour I watched.

There are many such "spears of fear" that can be used to prod the MAGA's. Here are some of the common "spears of fear" that help keep MAGA's loyal.

Death panels
Chinese communist government
Sharia law
Government take-over
Immigrants taking over
Crime waves
Taking your guns away
War on Christmas (and the implied destruction of American heritage)
Common core curriculum

I suspect that these "spears of fear" are the "electric fence" that helps keep the MAGA pinned in. In part I've come to that conclusion because Democrats and Republicans react differently to this set of spears.

Democratic response - Calm down everyone let's talk about the real issues that affect people's lives

Republican response - Yikes, ALARM - Run for the hills!

In watching (not just Bannon, but others on the right), it appears that these spears of fear can be used to form an electric fence around the bubble and help keep people pinned in.

Anyone got any other "spears of fear" that the right uses to scare their fearful base? I'm collating the list in order to perhaps identify remedies to these rhetorical devises that can have such a negative affect on people's lives. Thanks - The Hippo
Posted by Hippo_The_Pointer | Mon May 24, 2021, 01:44 PM (5 replies)

Any Ex-vangelicals?

I'm wondering if anyone in DU self identifies as an Ex-vangelical or if anyone in DU has close contact with anyone who is Ex-vangelical (family, friends, colleagues, etc). I am seeing a small but growing community of Ex-vangelicals who have left far right churches and are returning to more moderate churches or perspectives. Given how far to the right some churches have moved (even more so since 6th Jan), some appear to be less churches than they are political movements. As such I'm interested in learning more about the triggers and mechanisms that lead people to leave these far right churches and find alternate ways to worship or live. Understanding those seeds, triggers and mechanisms may be useful in helping people make better choices about what churches to attend - Any insights would be much appreciated - The Hippo
Posted by Hippo_The_Pointer | Sat May 22, 2021, 06:58 PM (63 replies)

Republican support and the role of declining church attendance

I had originally put the following in as a reply to someone else, but someone replied to my reply suggesting this would make a good original thread so here goes

Context - I'm trying to get a deeper understanding of the thought process within the Republican base. Granted that's a complex topic, but I'm trying to tease out of the tangles some insights that may help in developing improved engagement and communications strategies aimed at getting moderate Republicans to rethink if they want to continue to support a party that continues it's rightward march. In order to do that I'm trying to understand the thought process of the more moderate Republican voters and the context in which they live in.

One strand I've been looking into is a theory that is somewhat off the beaten track: The theory that the problem lies in the decline in Christianity and how different churches have responded to that.

Likely many DUers are aware that Christianity in the USA has been in decline for many years. The so called high-church (the well established traditional Christian denominations with highly structured liturgy) have seen significant decline in attendance since the 1980's. In response they have softened their doctrine in an attempt to make things more palatable to a broader audience (e.g. become more amenable to liberal social thinking - ordaining women, acceptance of gay marriage, etc). Presumably the hope was that that would stop the decline. It has not and attendance levels have continually dropped for the past 20 years.

The other main form of Christian church in the US is the evangelicals. They typically have less structure and only informal leadership at the national level. These churches are the ones that grew as the baby boomers entered their adult life in the 1970's on-wards. In the face of declining Christian numbers, the evangelicals have done the opposite of the high-church. Instead of softening their doctrine they have hardened things by clinging to the more 'traditional' values. No wedding cakes for you gay couples is a classic example.

It appears that the hardening may have worked - In the past 20 years the evangelicals have managed to keep their attendance numbers roughly stable. In part that has been done by attracting traditionalists away from high-church and into the evangelical church.

The problem is that the hardening sees the evangelicals decoupling from where mainstream society is moving. That growing gap has opened the door for the "longing for the past" syndrome that is the underpinning of the MAGA movement.

Recognizing 'the hardening' as a business opportunity the likes of Murdoch and Sinclair have been more than happy to feed it and sustain it. From there the GOP then see it as a voting block they can dominate. Foreign nations looking for influence are then more than happy to fund the GOP in the hope of gaining advantage should a republican president be elected.

Those external parties are then creating a bubble around the evangelical church. Every one watches the same news, listens to the same radio and socializes with each other. Those inside the bubble become increasingly cut off from the outside. From there craziness becomes more acceptable - As long as you hate the liberals you are a part of the team and even if you are a bit crazy at least you are not an 'outsider' (i.e. a liberal). From there we are nearly in cult territory or perhaps already in there.

To burst a bubble my feeling is that the bubble needs to be deeply understood and I'm making my own humble (and maybe misguided) little effort to do that Any thoughts on the role declining church attendance may be having on US society?

The thoughts of a rambling Hippo - The Hippo
Posted by Hippo_The_Pointer | Sat May 22, 2021, 04:25 PM (32 replies)
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